Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER)

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Galium aparine
L., Rubiaceae
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Present on Pacific Islands?  yes

Primarily a threat at high elevations?  no

Common name(s): [more details]

Chinese: yuan la la teng

English: bedstraw, catchweed bedstraw, cleavers, cleaverwort, goose grass, scarthgrass, small goose-grass, stickywilly, white hedge

French: gaillet gratteron

Spanish: lengua de gato

Habit:  herb

Description:  "Prostrate or scrambling annual; stems to 2 m long when through other vegetation, rather stout, branched, densely clothed in retrorse, hooked, scabrid hairs on the sharply acute angles. Leaves and stipules in whorls of 5-8, sessile, 10-60 x 2-8 mm (sometimes smaller on exposed prostrate shoots), linear-oblanceolate or narrow-elliptic, often spathulate or obovate on exposed lateral shoots; margins flat or nearly so, densely clothed in retrorse, hooked, scabrid hairs; midrib below and surface generally above ± scabrid; apex shortly awned. Flowers (1)-2-(6), in axillary divaricating cymes; peduncles usually > pedicels; whorl of bracts at base of pedicels leaflike and scabrid. Corolla 1-2 mm diam., white or whitish; lobes ovate, ± mucronate. Mericarps 2.5-4 mm in diameter (excluding bristles), globose or subglobose (often 1 of the pair smaller or abortive), densely furnished with hooked bristles"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1144).

Habitat/ecology:  "Coastal dunes, grass- and woodland, forests, riparian habitats, rock outcrops.  A native of arable land, hedgerows, scrub and woods.  The plant establishes well after disturbance and forms dense patches that crowd out native species and prevent their regeneration"  (Weber, 2003; p. 177).

In New Zealand, "commonest amongst shrubs and tall herbs around cultivated areas, in waste places, forest margins, clearings and scrub, sometimes on newly exposed surfaces, rough pastures and cliff faces"  (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1144).  "In Chile this species grows in the following environmental conditions:  Low altitude, interior valleys; coastal mountains, 500-2000 m; coastal areas, 0-500 m.  Watering conditions: Dry, arid areas, with long drought periods of 6-10 months; precipitations of 100 mm-300 mm. are concentrated in winter; somewhat dry areas where the drought may last 3-5 months, precipitations of 400-800 mm. are concentrated in winter.  Light conditions: Fully exposed to the sun, level areas or slopes facing north; some shadow, some protection against direct sunlight, some shadow from vegetation, filtering about 20-40% of light"  (Chileflora).

Propagation:  "Seeds are dispersed by wind, water and animals.  They are rather short-lived and remain viable in the soil for less than 2 years"  (Weber, 2003; p. 177).

Native range:  Temperate Eurasia (Webb et al., 1988; p. 1144), now a worldwide weed (GRIN).

Presence:

Pacific
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más a Tierra (Robinson Crusoe Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 554)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 223)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Atkinson, Rachel/Sawyer, John (2011)
Chile (offshore islands)
Juan Fernández Islands
Isla Más Afuera (Alejandro Selkirk Island) introduced
invasive
Danton, Philippe/Perrier, Christophe/Martinez Reyes, Guido (2006) (p. 554)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Maui Island introduced
invasive
Starr, Forest/Starr, Kim (2011) (pp. 31-32)
East Maui. Voucher cited: Starr & Starr 090519-02 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Hafliger, Ernst/Scholz, Hildemar (1980) (p. 34)
Incorrectly identified as Sherardia arvensis L. per Frohlich & Lau (2012). Observed plants were removed. Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, Perlman & Tangolin H30706 (BISH)
State of Hawaii
Hawaiian Islands
Moloka‘i Island introduced
invasive
Frohlich, Danielle/Lau, Alex (2012) (pp. 45-46)
Voucher cited: Oppenheimer, Perlman & Tangalin H30706 (BISH)
Pacific Rim
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Australia
Australia (continental)
New South Wales introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"Widespread; cosmopolitan weed".
Australia
Australia (continental)
Northern Territory introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"Widespread; cosmopolitan weed".
Australia
Australia (continental)
Queensland introduced
invasive
National Herbarium of New South Wales (2013)
"Widespread; cosmopolitan weed".
Canada (British Colombia)
Province of British Columbia
Canada (British Columbia) uncertain if native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
Skottsberg, Carl (1953) (p. 223)
Chile (continental)
Chile
Chile (Republic of) introduced
invasive
Belov, Michail (2013)
China
China
China (People's Republic of) possibly introduced
Zhengyi, Wu/Raven, Peter H./Deyuan, Hong (2013)
Forest margins, riversides, meadows, open fields, farmlands; near sea level to 2500 m. Evidently rare in China and possibly only introduced.
China
China
China (People's Republic of)   Li-ying, Li/Ren, Wang/Waterhouse, D. F. (1997) (p. 173)
China
China
Hong Kong native
Wu, Te-lin (2001) (p. 263)
var. echinospermum (Wallr.) Cuf. On grassland.
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand (country) introduced
invasive
Webb, C. J./Sykes, W. R./Garnock-Jones, P. J. (1988) (p. 1144)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Oregon) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (California) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (west coast)
United States (west coast states)
USA (Washington) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
Indian Ocean
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
La Réunion (France)
La Réunion Island
La Réunion Island introduced
invasive
Comité français de l'Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature en France (2013)
"Envahissant principalement dans les milieux perturbés".
Also reported from
Country/Terr./St. &
Island group
Location Cited status &
Cited as invasive &
Cited as cultivated &
Cited as aboriginal introduction?
Reference &
Comments
Canada (except British Colombia)
Canada
Canada (country) uncertain if native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
United States (other states) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)
United States (continental except west coast)
United States (other states)
USA (Florida) native
U.S. Dept. Agr., Nat. Res. Cons. Serv. (2013)

Control:  "Control should aim at preventing seed formation".

Physical:  "In arable fields, growth is suppressed by covering the soil with a mulch at germination time".

Chemical:  "Plants can be killed with herbicides based on chlorsulfuron or fluoroxypry"  (Weber, 2003; p. 177).


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This page was created on 15 DEC 2010 and was last updated on 29 DEC 2012.